Seahawks Legend Richard Sherman continues to venture into sports entertainment following his decorated playing career, agreeing earlier this month to become Fox Sports 1 Analyst Skip Bayless’ co-host on the “Undisputed” show. Last week, Sherman visited Seahawks training camp and recorded an episode of his podcast with Seahawks coach Pete Carroll, which aired on Tuesday. The two dive deep into their journey together and through the highs and occasional lows of Carroll's career, the Legion of Boom years and Seattle's future.
In 2010, Seattle hired Carroll as head coach following two national championships (2003,2004) and four Rose Bowl titles (2003,2006-2008). The following year, the Seahawks selected Sherman No. 154 overall in the 2011 draft. But the pair's history goes back to Sherman's days at Manuel Dominguez High in Compton. Sherman opens the episode by showing his appreciation for playing a part in Carroll's 50-plus year coaching journey.
"I just want to say," said Sherman. "I appreciate you, I appreciate the chapters of your journey that I've participated in. It's a small snippet of your 50 years of coaching, but I thought it was a fun time. From my high school recruiting, all the way to our last game here - I want to say I appreciate you."
In nearly a decade together, the pair helped Seattle capture their first championship (Super Bowl XLVIII), along with five consecutive playoff appearances. But Sherman begins the conversation with a look back at Carroll's early beginnings following the start of his coaching career at his alma mater, University of the Pacific.
"The significant time about my background in defense really wasn't back that far," said Carroll. "Because it was all a blur. We weren't that great, until I went to Arkansas with Monte Kiffin. That's when it first clicked about system, philosophy and approach. He's the best coach I've ever worked with. Taught me so much, took me right under his wing from the beginning. We were back-and-forth different places for years, we were the closest of friends and that was the time. He was such a great ball coach, that really the foundation of all of it started there."
From 2018-2020, Sherman played for divisional foe San Francisco 49ers. Carroll reflects on learning the right way to treat players during his time as the 49ers defensive coordinator and how his time with the New England Patriots shaped him as a coach.
"Being a San Francisco guy," said Carroll. "I was always a Niners guy growing up. So, I always loved their football and tried to follow them whenever I could. I wound up after the Jets going to San Francisco and had two years there - we had great teams. We won a lot and played great defense. Coach (Bill) Walsh had come back as a consultant the second year. All the coaches that had been around him were still intimated. I didn't know it, and I just felt it was a great opportunity, so I hung out with him as much as I could. And he welcomed it, because other coaches wouldn't even come see him. I bring it up, because that led to the opportunity to go to New England. I had the opportunity to visit with Bill so much and ask so many questions - I felt like I was really dug into the 9er way. So, when I go to interview with New England, Robert Kraft hires me with the understanding that I'm going to bring the San Francisco philosophy. I'm jacked, because I finally got there. The quick story is, we did everything first-class in San Francisco. Top-drawer, treated the players great; looked after them, took care of them. Clear philosophy I was bringing and excited to unveil. First thing we get to, we're having a minicamp. I'm just checking out the setup, how it's organized. I'm figuring the menu for the players for that weekend, and Kraft comes to me and says 'We're not going to feed them like that. We give them bologna sandwiches, chips, stuff like that.' It hit me just as clear as a bell that I'm in deep trouble. If I can't even feed them the way I want to feed them, I had a moment. He didn't know what he was asking for at the time. We didn't cover the bologna sandwich stuff in the interviews. But that situation from the start was a little challenging. Three years, we didn't do bad. I'm still proud of the 27-21 record, and we went to the playoffs two-of-the-three years. I remember that clearly. And that's when Bill (Belichick) came in."
Carroll explains that all the bad moments in his career (even being fired) helped to shape him, but didn't make him bitter.
"You know me," said Carroll. "I never talk about rivalries and stuff like that. I don't go there, because I don't want to go there. But, my past is still with me and I don't forget that stuff. I carry those things with me, it fuels me. Those kinds of moments, I find a way to put them someplace that's going to help me. Being pissed off or whatever, those kind of moments I work to avoid. I don't want to go back to those kinds of situations and lose again or get beat, in particular the fashions that you can go down sometimes. It's just part of the competitiveness, I don't want to let it go and ignore it. I like that it's there. I need it."
Community work has long been a part of Carroll's makeup, which Sherman points out when bringing up the 71-year-old's time at USC and his efforts to help underprivileged neighboring communities like the Jordan Downs housing project in Watts.
"It was such a rich time," said Carroll. "Because we turned a great program into a powerhouse for a good run there. Along with all the winning, it was the opportunity to connect with the city and area that made it so extraordinary for me. I still miss being there. I still miss driving down Figueroa and seeing all the sights, because it meant so much and it was so powerful. We really started to connect, we connected in a lot of areas. Whether it was Jordan Downs (Grape Street), wherever we were, there were so many things that happened that were so powerful and fun and rich. Law enforcement, we went deep. Those times I just treasure them, it was really hard to leave because I knew I would never have the same influence that I had. It just diminishes, you can't have the same impact. But there was some real stuff there that was going on that was really meaningful and important."
Carroll reflects on the Legion of Boom years and having not only one of the best-defensive team runs of the 2000's but all-time.
"I think the statistics kind of bare it out," said Carroll. "There was a six-year run there that was phenomenal. I take great pride in it. When it gets down to it, I'm not a whole lot different than you are. I'm not a whole lot different than any of our dudes that had the real chip on their shoulder, because I've had that since I was a little kid. In that, we shared the experience together. I don't feel like I did it, or I coached you guys to make you do it. I don't feel that at all, I feel like we did this together, we did something that was really freaking cool and we hung in there as long as we could. And then changes had to come. That's the bad part of it, why couldn't we just keep playing like that? That's really how I wished it could've been but that's not the reality, so we had to live with it. It was a source of great pride. I was really proud coming from SC, because we had so much success there. Just to see what would happen in the league. What happens if you take care of people, love them up, and look after them - what would be the result? I was so moved by what happened at USC, and I'll never forget that. That's as big to me as anything I've ever been a part of. But to be able to go somewhere else, and dive into the same fashion with the same commitment and see the relationships happen. You know our guys, you guys still live in-town. It happened, and I take great pride in that, because it's become my life. I poured my life into it, and it became something special."
Take a look back at some of the best photos from cornerback Richard Sherman's illustrious career with the Seattle Seahawks.